Rondout Creek: Paddle Back in Time

One of the things I like about the Hudson Valley is that almost any place you go has hosted a semi-significant event or character from America’s history. On the 4th of July, I picked a body of water with a storied past to paddle: Rondout Creek.

kayak launch

We drove up the Thruway to exit 18, turned east to connect with route 9W and headed north into the town of Esopus. Getting off 9W, each turn leads to progressively narrower roads until you find the put-in, a narrow concrete boat ramp with an aluminum dock next to it.

I pulled up close to unload the kayaks, then tucked my truck between somebody’s boat trailer and the surrounding brush. Once our boats were situated, I pushed Junior out into the water, then launched myself.

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Croton Point Kayaking

I had an epiphany on the way to the Echo Canoe Launch last Saturday. We have two touring kayaks, a red, white and blue Dagger Charleston we call “The Bomb Pop” and a 17-foot red Wilderness Systems Sealution sometimes known as the “Cherry Bomb.”

In the past, I would let Junior choose which one he wanted to paddle. My usual approach was to say “The Bomb Pop is lighter and more stable but the Cherry Bomb is also very stable and even though it’s heavier, it’s also faster so once it’s in the water, it won’t feel heavier. Which one do you want to paddle?” He would always choose the Bomb Pop, I think because it’s somehow less intimidating.

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In Defense of Skiing Alone

When Harvey declared that he was done skiing alone, I felt a post of my own forming in my head. Skiing solo is one of life’s great pleasures. I wouldn’t consider giving up skiing by myself any more then I would give up skiing itself.

no one around

One time this spring I found myself driving up the Thruway, skis and boots in the truck, with literally no idea where I was going. I reached out to a couple skiing buddies to see where they were headed but I was pretty ambivalent about finding a ski partner. One guy was at Plattekill (not on my MAX Pass), one was at Whiteface and another at Killington (both too far). I think I was subconsciously looking for reasons not to meet up with anybody.

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